Journey to the cloud: Traditionally to build an application or solution in a legacy world, you have to think about network, OS, storage, and scale. But they have little to do with what you really want to build, an application. But what if there were a different way?
The Infrastructure as a Service cloud is defined by companies that offer to run your virtual machines on their physical servers in an on-demand fashion – meaning that you pay for them only when you use them. Providers typically offer storage and networking on this basis as well. But you retain control and responsibility for your application and your IP in this model; the provider is offering you ping, power and cooling such as you would get with a hosting partner, plus the physical servers and management of the physical environment. In this model you retain administrative control and responsibility. The benefits associated with Infrastructure as a Service are typically time to value, a flexible pay-per-use model, and shifting capital expense to operating expense.
The Platform as a Service cloud builds on the features of Infrastructure as a Service by adding management all the way to the application layer, value-added building block services to ease the development of composite services, and development tooling that expose the benefits of the platform. In this model you frequently give up administrative access in return for a much broader SLA. The benefits associated with Platform as a Service are typically time to value, an even more flexible pay-per-use model, shifting capital expense to operating expense, and reduced IT operations costs.
The Software as a Service cloud delivers fully functional applications to your organization over the internet on a by-the-drink fashion. Your organization no longer has any management responsibilities, and in fact typically doesn’t even know the physical location of the data center. Most SaaS providers offer a commodity price for a commodity service with limited capability to customize or enhance the product. In this model you forego management access in return for an all-encompassing SLA. The benefits associated with Software as a Service include time to value, commodity price points, shifting capital expense to operating expense, reduced IT operations costs, and better standardization across the enterprise.
The Process as a Service cloud represents the evolution of Business Process Outsourcing. An increasing number of BPO organizations are offering their software assets as a part of the end-to-end process that they deliver. The business case for this type of cloud is the same as for traditional BPO, so we won’t delve into it here.
To build an application or solution in a legacy world, you have to think about network, OS, storage, and scale. But they have little to do with what you really want to build, an application.
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